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Army November 24, 2011
AFGHAN National Security Forces
supported by Australia's Special
Operations Task Group seized and
destroyed about 4000kg of poppy seed
cached in preparation for next year's
growing season in an operation on
The poppy seeds and 30kg of pro-
cessed opium were uncovered during the
partnered operation in the Kajaki region
of Helmand province.
Chief of Joint Operations Lt-Gen Ash
Power said destroying the poppy seed
would significantly impact the insurgent-
aligned drug syndicate's ability to plant
and harvest a crop in the 2012 growing
"This high-grade seed is crucial to
sustaining production and is highly val-
ued and protected," Lt-Gen Power said.
Afghan and Australian forces came
under fire as they entered the targeted
area and elements remained in contact
for the duration of the mission.
"The ferocity of the insurgent
response to the mission is a clear indica-
tor of just how important this cache was
to their plans."
No members of the Special
Operations Task Group or the Afghan
National Interdiction Unit were killed or
wounded during the mission.
Several insurgents are known to have
been killed during multiple engagements.
This mission follows successful oper-
ations in recent months against drug pro-
duction facilities in northern Helmand
Australian Special Forces are sup-
porting the National Interdiction Unit in
a concerted effort to disrupt insurgent
command, control and finance networks
in southern Afghanistan.
National Interdiction Unit operations
focus on targeting the Afghan narcotics
trade and the threat it poses to the long-
term security, development and govern-
ance of Afghanistan.
Joint operations: Members of Afghanistan's National Interdiction Unit have
been teaming up with Australian Special Forces troops (inset) to raid drug labs
in southern Afghanistan and reduce insurgent income sources.
PM drops in on troops
Meet the boss: Prime Minister Julia Gillard paid a surprise visit to Australian troops and officials in
Tarin Kot and Kabul early this month. At Tarin Kot the Prime Minister received briefs from Australian
and coalition commanders, met with Uruzgan Provincial Governor Shirzad and attended a barbecue
lunch with ADF personnel, Australian Federal Police and civilians. She later travelled to Kabul and was
welcomed by the Australian Commander in Afghanistan, Brig Simone Wilkie and met with senior officials
including Afghan President Hamid Karzai and ISAF commander US Gen John Allen before the official
opening of the Australian Embassy in Kabul. Prime Minister Gillard is pictured here talking with LCpls
Kalan Woodman, Rowan Turner and Billy Millerick about the SR-98 rifle at Multinational Base Tarin Kot.
Photo by PO Damian Pawlenko
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